Laserdisc thru HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by NickBull, May 2, 2002.

  1. NickBull

    NickBull
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    I am getting great results with stand alone DVD player through a simple Pinnacle capture card and Dscaler.

    Anyone use a Laserdisc player through Dscaler? I like the idea of buying one and a collection of films and I am just interested in othe rpeople opinions.

    The picture will be projected via a Barco 808 at 720p onto an 84 inch accross 16:9 screen.

    I was thinking of upgrading to a Falcon Card but since I got the Adaptive and the Gradual noise filters I am wondering what benefits the £160 outlay will bring?

    cheers

    Nick
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    All being well the Falcon picture will be crisper and improve colour saturation, noise wise it may be better but there are too many variables to say for certain. As you are happy with what you already have you should wait to see what the future holds.

    Jeff
     
  3. NickBull

    NickBull
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    So far, if I keep my eyes closed if I ever see a falcon in action I should be ok!!!!

    Thanks Jeff, I'll try some more things and take the plunge with LD i reckon. Loads of cheap films that may never even see a DVD release!
     
  4. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I'm really happy with a Pioneer CLD-925 S-Video into a Falcon, out to a Barco Data 808s. The Lindsay Dubb adaptive noise filter is a must too, even with the Falcon.

    The results are excellent, The Empire Strikes Back has never looked so good to me.

    I've nearly managed to capture Star Wars, using the Falcon, VirtualDub, 50GB disk space, TMPGEncPlus and 48hours max quality compression down to the 4.7GB DVD file! From what I've seen the compression (4600Kbits/sec video) is not noticeable and 48KHz 368(?) MPEG sound is fine, but 48hours processing on an Athlon 2000+ !!!!

    It's still amazing if you think DScaler does the inverse telecine to 24fps, runs a great noise reduction utility and you don't need any video or audio compression - pure 44.1KHz CD audio. Great product there John.

    With DVD backup copies, I won't miss the side-turn pauses or having to swap disks at the back of the dark room! Or that horrible feeling if you catch and scratch a laserdisc!

    If you want to make use the few AC3 Dolby Digital soundtracks, you'll need an amp with an AC3 RF input (or a standalone £100 demodulator). I think the only AC3 discs I have not on DVD are some of the Disney ones, either the Lion King or Aladin?

    I think it's already been said that the 925 is the only PAL/NTSC side-turning AC3 player with digital comb-filter S-Video output.

    It might be interesting to try my old Philips 600WS Laserdisc, with it's RGB out (in 1990!) through a RGB to S-video convertor. It's build like a tank. I'm sure the RGB output looked cleaner than the 925's S-Video? Only for capturing for DVD's mind, as the lack of any side-turn is annoying with CAV 5-sided films!

    Anyone know if there's a way to record AC3 Dolby Digital via an Audiophile 2496, even if I did have a standalone decoder, which I don't, my A10SE amp has one built-in.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  5. NickBull

    NickBull
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    Rob,

    Thanks for all the info. What settings do you have on Dscaler?
    Do you have the Auto Detect Pulldown switched on or doe you manually select the pulldown, or even use a video setting?

    I must admit I get a bit daunted by all the flexibility of Dscaler and I'm never convinced I have it set up right.

    Nick
     
  6. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Hi Nick,
    I have Greedy High motion selected for de-interlacing and auto pull-down detect. If DScaler find 3:2 or 2:2 then no de-interlacing is required.

    I use the Adaptive noise filter in it's default settings.

    I still have the Hauppage TV Rage capture card, with Ghost backup, will I be able to swap cards, see a comparison in DScaler, then swap the Falcon back in and restore the Ghost .GHO backup to reset and driver/setting resets because plug'n'play found a new card?

    My gut feel is that with the two new great noise filters (the old one gave me slight banding/solarisation to colour), the results with a Rage and Falcon will be very close.

    I also found a marked improvement with the Hauppage Rage by setting the 925 Laserdisc player's System button on the so it outputs NTSC as PAL60 colour. You then have to set DScaler manually to PAL60 as it doesn't autodetect properly, but the colour seemed to have less noise compared to using the default NTSC output mode. You can also set DScaler to maintain video settings per input format as PAL60 will require different contrast, brightness and saturation settings, again you need a Laserdisc with a SMPTE frame on it to do this reasonably properly.

    The IDS Falcon seems to be just as good with NTSC colour, PAL60 didn't improve things anough to have auto-detect not work,,but I'd say the improvement is not worth £200 to most people, probably including me and at times I'll spend 3 hours on Gran Tourismo3!

    I can look-up my brightness and contrast settings, but in reality I've changed my Radeon driver from the first one to 7075 since Roland ISF'd the Barco. So, my settings are probably compensating a little bit for any small difference in Overlay gamma changes between those. Proobably not much difference in it though.

    If I get time this weekend, I'll use the SMPTE test chart off the Terminator2SE THX NTSC Laserdisc and the one on Video Essentials DVD via the PAL Playstation2 to see what the sweet-spot for either are.

    Is there a video histogram available for DScaler? I found that helpful in setting-up the Falcon using the Opensource BTWDM capture driver to ensure whites and backs wern't crushed when I was calibrating for video capture.

    Jeff, what's this about a new generation of BT chips then? Lets have the gossip, who what and when!

    What Laserdiscs are you looking forward buying and watching in this DVD age then?

    I anyone has the Star Wars SE Laserdiscs within the Berkshire area, I'd be eternally grateful if I could borrow them for a week. If only someone would work out how to capture raw Dolby Digital (AC3) via S/PDIF IN.

    BTW, I think I'm almost there with DVD format captures, the Pioneer A04 DVD-R/RW should arrive today! Hint hint! I would be really greatful!

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  7. NickBull

    NickBull
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    Excellent Rob,

    I'll definatley try the PAL 60 change and the interlace modes.

    Do you know if you can use ADAPTIVE and GRADUAL filters together. On some ropey DVD's I have it seems to work quite well.

    I'll have a play when I get home and see what the PAL 60 does!

    I'm borrowing a friends LD player at the moment, just to see if it's worth looking for a second hand one. Luckily it's a 925 so if the PAL thing works I'll definately be looking at one of those.



    Thanks

    Nick
     
  8. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Their author, Lindsay Dubb "high speed dubb" on avs wrote that there could be some bad interaction and pulsing between multiple noise filters. I'm surprised you have the horse power to run more than one!

    One thing is I used to run 768 pixel width, with very occasional frame dropping on a 1.1GHz Celeron, but when Jeff was round he pointed out that 640 pixel width is adequate and shows no difference.

    I might re-try 768 now I've put a Penium3 1GHz in though!

    What films are you intending on getting? I'd probably say borrow your mates player for a month or two until the novelty has worn off! I think it would for me. I've only bothered to watch Star Wars 50% and Empire Strikes Back 50% and a small bit of Aladdin for curiosity so far! The side-turn and disc swap seem to make me take a film break and do some chores and forget I was watching a film and forget to play the rest!

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  9. NickBull

    NickBull
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    Not sure about films, obviously starwars trillogy.

    I have noticed that I seem to get better results with the gradual filter than the adaptive with DVD.

    I'll try the 640 pixel width tonight as well.

    Do you think you are getting near DVD quality?
     
  10. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Yes, very near DVD quality.

    It's good enough for me to mostly forget the medium. Only occasionally does the limited 276 lines (NTSC non-anamorphic) 2:35:1 picture make itself noticeable. DScaler de-interlaces and scales this stuff very well.

    Three caveats:-
    1. Near non-amorphic DVD quality. The material has to be zoomed in (Dscaler does thisautomatically) to fill a 16:9 screen.

    2. Even DVD's via the Sony725/Falcon/DScaler route don't look quite as good as TheaterTek DVD.

    3. Dscaler doesn't offer pixel accurate aspect ratios, like TheatreTek does. A well captured Laserdisc, carefully noise cleaned and compressed may look better through TheaterTek, in spite of the additional digital processing and compression.
    (45GB then 40hours processing on an Athlon2000+, per film, burnt on to DVD-R; 125mins=about4.6Mbits/sec video=a little bit low for best quality; perhaps on to two DVD-R's then. I'm working on this one with Falcon, VirtualDub, TMPGEncPlus and a Pioneer DVDR A04.

    What do you folks think?
    A) 1xDVD-R; Superb quality for up to around 100 min letterboxed films. But for anything longer alike Star Wars, etc. a minor quality drop, but still noticeable on a good big screen.

    B) 2xDVD-R; indistinguishable from the D1 standard uncompressesed capture, except it has less noise because of digital cleaning! But it's a flipper during the film.
    Could probably also have PCM not-compressed audio in place of MPEG2 audio, if DVD-R's are roughly 50% of the film each.

    C) Alternatively stored at about 8GB per film, NON-removable, stored in the HTPC, using one of those juke-box DVD controller utilities. Perhaps a bit fiddly.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  11. NickBull

    NickBull
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    I found one or two things. Firstly the Adaptive and Gradual noise reduction still leave some horizontal lines, almost scanning down the screen'. Using the Temporal filter seems to improve the picture quite a lot.

    I'm not sure if this is a problem with the player though. I tried playing a CD on it and it skipped like mad? Does CD playback use the same laser? Could it need a clean?

    Second problem I found was a sort of smearing effect during certain scenes. It's like the some pixels take a while to 'catch up' and this make it look like I'm watching through slightly dirty glass!

    Any ideas anyone?

    Nick
     
  12. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Nick

    The smaering you refer to is an artifact intrduced by the noise filters, sometimes they mistake motion for noise and so try to smooth out the motion and you get some smearing.

    I thibk the more recent filters are better in this respect.

    John
     
  13. NickBull

    NickBull
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    The adaptive and the Gradual work ok, but I must be getting temporal nose from the LD player as this is the only one that stops the horizontal lines.

    I guess that the Falcon card might be a good investment after all.

    Overall I'm pretty happy though. Maybe I just need to adjust some settings in one of the newer filters!

    Thanks

    Nick
     

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